Monday, 21 February 2011

FANTASY REVIEW: Malazan Book of the Fallen 10: The Crippled God - Steven Erikson

Release Date: 21/02/11


Savaged by the K'Chain Nah'Ruk, the Bonehunters march for Kolanse, where waits an unknown fate. Tormented by questions, the army totters on the edge of mutiny, but Adjunct Tavore will not relent. One final act remains, if it is in her power, if she can hold her army together, if the shaky allegiances she has forged can survive all that is to come. A woman with no gifts of magic, deemed plain, unprepossessing, displaying nothing to instill loyalty or confidence, Tavore Paran of House Paran means to challenge the gods -- if her own troops don't kill her first.

Awaiting Tavore and her allies are the Forkrul Assail, the final arbiters of humanity. Drawing upon an alien power terrible in its magnitude, they seek to cleanse the world, to annihilate every human, every civilization, in order to begin anew. They welcome the coming conflagration of slaughter, for it shall be of their own devising, and it pleases them to know that, in the midst of the enemies gathering against them, there shall be betrayal. In the realm of Kurald Galain, home to the long lost city of Kharkanas, a mass of refugees stand upon the First Shore. Commanded by Yedan Derryg, the Watch, they await the breaching of Lightfall, and the coming of the Tiste Liosan. This is a war they cannot win, and they will die in the name of an empty city and a queen with no subjects.

Elsewhere, the three Elder Gods, Kilmandaros, Errastas and Sechul Lath, work to shatter the chains binding Korabas, the Otataral Dragon, and release her from her eternal prison. Once freed, she will be a force of utter devastation, and against her no mortal can stand. At the Gates of Starvald Demelain, the Azath House sealing the portal is dying. Soon will come the Eleint, and once more, there will be dragons in the world. And so, in a far away land and beneath indifferent skies, the final cataclysmic chapter in the extraordinary 'Malazan Book of the Fallen' begins.


The book that fans of Erikson’s Malazan series have been longing for as well as dreading at the same time, as the climactic battle between good and evil, man and gods plays out in this, the conclusion to this epic series. As usual with Erikson the substantial cast has been nothing short of huge as well as intriguing, the cultures varied and above all else the author over this ten book cycle has create principle players that the reader cares about. Whilst not all have survived (Erikson plays for keeps) to face the final challenge the series has been nothing short of a joy to read from the start to its end and one that will please readers the world over.

Whilst it will be sad to say farewell to a great many literary friends within, Stevens writing has done what few other epic authors have done before, that is stick not only pretty close to schedule but produce a series that had a clear goal and outline from the start. The writing doesn’t let up from the outset, the prose chasing the pace in an almost manical way in such a style that the book was nigh impossible to put down and as such left me wondering in places how I could have missed some of the clues from previous titles. Definitely a series that has gone out with a bang and hopefully readers will be pleased to hear that Steven has been contracted for more titles set within the Malazan world. A real joy to read and if you’re prepared to take on a challenge worth reading from the outset again just to get the most from this volume.

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